Download Cassiodorus: Variae' (Liverpool University Press - by S. J. B. Barnish PDF

By S. J. B. Barnish

Cassiodorus (c.485–585), Roman senator and consul, served in a variety of excessive places of work from c.505 to c.538, less than the kings of the Ostrogoths, who had inherited the imperial management of Italy. For lengthy classes the Goths’ leader publicist, he compiled the nation papers he had drafted, as their regime crumbled lower than Byzantine assault. this feature is the 1st translation to seem when you consider that 1886." ... first-class and useful ..."—Classical assessment

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Extra info for Cassiodorus: Variae' (Liverpool University Press - Translated Texts for Historians)

Sample text

56 The Symmachus case, however, was one of great political importance, in which the Quaestor's work would have been closely monitored; on lesser occaSions, or where flexibility was needed, he may have been allowed a freer hand. As noted earlier, between the lines of the Variae, we can sometimes read a criticism of the monarch. Cassiodorus sometimes likens secular offices to the priesthood, and the overall impression left by the Variae is of governmental liturgies, compiled in a secular Sacramentary: their stereotyped sentiments and instructions correspond to prayers and ritual actions, their metaphors and digressions to pulpit oratory.

Why do you demand the eloquence of official composition amongst all this, when I can scarcely keep up the supply of words? Even my nights are beset by complex anxieties, lest the cities should lack their food supply. This is what their inhabitants expect more than anything: their concern is not for their ears but their bellies. Hence I am forced to travel in spirit through every province, and constantly investigate my commands. It is not enough to order civil servants to do I Cassiodol'lls wrote a separate preface for books XI-XU.

For you took on the duty of describing them with true praise, and of painting them, in some measure, with the pigment of history. 4 10. Then again, you employ the king's authority to correct evil characters, you shatter the insolence of the transgressor, you restore respect to the laws. And do' you still hesitate to publish what you show may have such utility? 'If I may say so, you would also be concealing the mirror of your own mind, in which every age to come might behold you. For it often happens that men beget sons unlike themselves; but it is hard to find discourse that does not conform to character.

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